Posts tagged ‘training’

July 15, 2011

Resistance Bands & Other Randomness

Today’s post is all over the place.  Luckily, at least I won’t be all over the place this weekend.  I was gone at least three weekends in a row and hosted company last weekend.  I was about to go out of town again this weekend, but I’ve managed to talk Kev into just staying home.  Woohoo!  I have too much work to do around the house for a pajama day, but hopefully I’ll indulge in at least a little good ole’ fashion laziness.

First, I want to talk about resistance bands.  I mentioned them in my most recent workout post, and I want to share why I like to incorporate them from time to time.  They’re not better than free weights, but they have noteworthy benefits.  One of these benefits is great for travel season – they fit in your carry-on!

This BodyBuilding.com article brings up another resistance-band bonus:

With your resistance band training, every part of both the concentric and eccentric part of the exercise has resistance, resulting in better range of motion strength and more complete stimulation.

The article also says that many people who strength train give the eccentric part of the exercise significantly less attention than they should.  It also offers some exercises that incorporate the bands (some good, some not so good, but that’s just my opinion).

FitSugar.com mentions another added benefit:

You’ll find that when using resistance bands, it’s easier to target smaller muscles and also mimic real-life sports scenarios. Because the bands offer tension in all directions, you can use them to mirror the movements you make in your sport and strengthen those muscle groups.

FitSugar doesn’t go into any further detail about this type of training, but I’ll fill you in briefly.  Exercises that strengthen your muscles in ways that make you stronger and better prepared for real-life activities are called functional exercises/movements.  Who really bench presses their bags of groceries?  Resistance bands help you practice functional movements, and they often help strengthen your stabilizer muscles at the same time.

On a side note, here’s a video to a few of my favorite functional movements. I really like the last exercise.

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Next topic: Packing your lunch gets annoying.  Seriously.  After a long day of work, an hour+ commute, unpacking and re-packing the gym bag, cooking dinner, and assisting with some of the dishes, the last thing I want to do is prep more meals.  However, here’s my secret.

lunch

Too Bad It Can't Go In My Lunchbox

Okay – I actually only have a beer when packing my lunch on rare occasions.  Nevertheless, it helps!  I hear wine helps too – gotta try that next time.

Also, I made my first batch of overnight oats in a jar last night.  Milk, oats, cinnamon in an empty peanut butter jar, and I have sliced strawberries ready for topping in the morning.  I can’t wait to try this after my workout when I get to the office!

overnight oatsI didn’t like my first and only other experience with overnight oats, but I’m willing to give it one more shot.

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Finally, I want to discuss something that’s surprisingly cool.  If you shamelessly leave the gym like this:

curlers

Will one thumbs-up be enough?

You arrive at work like this:

hair

Nope - I give this two thumbs-up for sure!

Happy Friday!

What are your plans for the weekend?  Will you be out having fun or getting in extra pajama time?

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July 11, 2011

July Workout

After my kinda-sorta-but-not-really time off from working out, it’s time to get down to business.  Did anyone try out my June workout?  If so, I’m curious as to what you thought.  It really built up my backside, and while that was one of the goals, I’m not sure I need to keep building.  So this workout doesn’t have quite as much booty work, but maybe you’ll still sweat your booty off, if that’s a goal of yours.

The two split-style workouts are similar, but it’s important to change up your workouts every four to six weeks, even if the changes are small.  (I want enough time to build muscle without reaching a plateau.)  For simplicity, I usually change it up monthly.  Next month, I hope to throw in more circuits and supersets, so stay tuned for the August workout.

This routine is not advanced, but this is not for beginners either.  I recommend completing 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions per set, depending on if it’s a heavy day or light day.  I change it up by throwing in drop sets, pyramid sets, 21s, or big sets of 15 reps every once in a while.  Just do what feels best for you, but 3 sets of 10 is the perfect place to start.  I’m not sure how easy or hard it is yet, since I have only just started it today.

Monday

  • Barbell Curl
  • Twisting Resistance Band Curl (or with Cable)
  • Resistance Band Triceps Extension (or Cable)
  • Dips <– hardcore dips or modified bench dips, whatever works for you
  • Reverse Curls (Feel these in your forearms) – I did it holding two 5-lb dumbbells and followed that immediately with some weighted punches and jabs to burn things out
  • Complete 35 minutes of cardio.  I often opt for the stair climber on Mondays.
fun

Tuesday

plank

Wednesday

Be sure to get your legs parallel to the ground, but don’t let your knees pass your toes.

Thursday

  • Run or Walk at Home – Enjoy Summer!  I usually go for about 3 miles.
  • Finish with a cool down, stretches, and yoga.  The yoga should challenge you.

Friday

I’ll most likely do this with an EZ Curl Bar on a bench, but you get the idea.

Saturday

  • Go for a long run, walk, or bike ride.  Enjoy the weather!  I run about 4.5 miles on Saturdays.
  • Finish with a cool down, stretches, and yoga or pilates.  The yoga should challenge you.

I hope you enjoy the workout.  If you give it a shot, let me know what you think of it.

Do you switch up your routine daily, monthly, or other?

How much cardio do you usually do per week?

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